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The Election Commission (EC) has extended the ban on physical rallies in the five poll-bound states till January 22 in light of the Covid-19 situation. Last week, the EC had imposed a ban on physical rallies, roadshows and corner meetings till January 15 in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Goa and Manipur.

The Union health secretary and the principal health secretaries of the five poll-bound states informed the EC on Saturday that the infection is still spreading.

While the intensity of infection of the Omicron variant is not as deadly as that of Delta, relaxing restrictions would not be appropriate just yet, the Commission was told in a meeting with experts, officials and leaders of political parties.

A decision was then made to extend the ban on rallies and processions at least till next week.
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